LaSalle Corrections, a private prison company based in Louisiana, has profited considerably off the Trump Administration’s anti-immigration policies. Within the past year, six of the eight contracts for new immigration detention facilities have gone to LaSalle, despite its documented history of poor conditions and abuse. The federal government pays LaSalle and other private prison companies $70 per day for each detained immigrant.
In October, a migrant incarcerated at one of LaSalle’s facilities committed suicide after being placed in solitary confinement. He received the punishment for participating in a hunger strike. Another migrant, who suffers from diabetes and hypertension, reports deteriorating health due to a lack of adequate medical care. Immigrants also have complained of being served moldy food and being subject to verbal abuse by guards.
Many of the new immigrant detention facilities are located on the sites of former county jails. In 2017, LaSalle faced wrongful death suits as a result of inadequate guard training. That incident caused the death of two inmates. Earlier this year, four guards were found guilty of either pepper-spraying handcuffed immigrants while they knelt on the ground or standing around while other guards did so.
As conditions continue to deteriorate at these facilities, the immigrant population continues to grow. Historically, immigrants seeking asylum who passed the “credible fear” interview and could prove that they were not a danger or a flight risk often received parole. Parole grants have become increasingly rare under the Trump Administration. For example, the ICE field office in New Orleans granted 75% of all parole applications in 2016. In 2018, that number dropped to 1.5%. Although a federal judge blocked ICE from categorically denying all parole applications, these numbers seem to indicate otherwise. Due to the sluggish pace at which the immigration court system moves, many of these immigrants remain detained indefinitely.
The Peek & Toland immigration lawyers are here to represent your interests and advise you of the best course of action in your immigration matter. Set up an appointment to talk to us today and discover how we can assist you with your immigration case.